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Anzac Frigate Systems Upgrade

The Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) project is upgrading the frigates' surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities to match current and future threats and address obsolescence of some current systems. This will deliver a new combat management system, new radars, electronic detection and other above water sensors, the self-defence missile system, decoys against missiles and torpedoes, and an upgrade to the hull-mounted sonar.

Government approval

14 April 2014

Total project budget of $446 million was approved; this included project management costs, contingency, introduction into service and capitalisation costs, but excluded foreign exchange variations. The project is being funded by the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF's) baseline as part of the Defence Capability Plan.

11 December 2017

The Government approved an additional $148 million to accommodate increases in installation costs of the combat system equipment into the Anzac ships.

Prime Contractor

The prime contractor for the Frigate Systems Upgrade is Lockheed Martin Canada.

There are a number of separate contracts covering various aspects of the project including the Prime System Integrator, installation design, missiles, sonar upgrade, torpedo defence system and anti-ship missile defence decoys, designing and supplying the Combat Management System for each ANZAC Class Frigate along with the supply and integration of various sensors, missile system and a Combat System Trainer for the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland.

The Combat Management System and many of the sensors are the same as those being provided for the upgrade of the 12 Royal Canadian Navy Halifax Class frigates which was also undertaken by Lockeed Martin Canada.

Tender process: An international open tender process in March-May 2013, followed by due diligence, a contract definition phase and best and final offer (BAFO) process.

Date awarded: 29 April 2014

Contract change: A major contract change was awarded on 12 December 2017 for the undertaking of the installation phase.

Current Status

HMNZS Te Kaha has undergone the extensive upgrade programme in Canada involving the installation of a new superstructure, masts and weaponry. The upgrade will maintain the frigates’ surveillance, self-defence, and combat systems to a standard comparable to the frigates used by Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, allowing them to continue to operate in a full range of roles.

The upgrade includes new radars, electronic detection and other above water systems, the self-defence missile system, decoys against missiles and torpedoes, an upgrade to the hull-mounted sonar, and the combat management system that integrates these.

Te Kaha returned to New Zealand in December 2020 and during 2021 has undertaken a series of trials, tests, and exercises, allowing for the progressive release of the ship's operational capabilities.

The second ANZAC frigate to be upgraded in Victoria, British Columbia, HMNZS Te Mana, started its refit in May 2019. The industrial work is now complete. The new systems will be activated and tested with Te Mana scheduled to return to New Zealand in April 2022. 

Find out more about the RNZN’s frigates Te Kaha(external link) and Te Mana(external link).

Contact: Jon Finderup, Director Maritime Domain
Email: industry@defence.govt.nz

Updated: July 2021